Living together in multi-ethnic neighbourhoods; The meaning of public spaces for issues of social integration.

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


This study examines the daily life in multi-ethnic neighbourhoods, and how people with different ethnic backgrounds live together. My research shows that positive experiences in public spaces contribute to feeling at home in a multi-ethnic neighbourhood. Not only intense and lasting contacts, but also short interactions contribute to feeling at home somewhere. By being in public space, relationships are formed with these spaces and with other people; residents feel at home and as such, integration has taken place. I therefore want to emphasize that politicians should look at the everyday realities in neighbourhoods like Lombok when discussing issues related to multi-ethnic societies. Repeatedly stressing the dichotomy between native and non-native Dutch citizens and focusing on problems, has a negative effect on the everyday lives of people because it produces and reproduces stereotyped images. I believe that integration is not only about non-native Dutch residents adapting themselves to Dutch society: it is also about the extent to which people from various backgrounds live together and feel at home in their neighbourhood.


Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Lengkeek, Jaap, Promotor
  • de Haan, Henk, Co-promotor
Award date26 Oct 2011
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789086861903
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • public space
  • neighbourhoods
  • social integration
  • ethnic groups
  • cultural interaction
  • open spaces
  • public life
  • urban society
  • urban areas
  • leisure
  • cultural sociology
  • social geography
  • netherlands

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